Build Your Startup Like Bezos: How To Think Big and Act Small
Three examples of disruptive innovation from the early stage to total industry domination
Jeff Bezos did not set out to become the king of home-delivered paperback books.
Today, when you think of Amazon, you think of it as the place to get everything you need — right now. But it wasn’t always this way. At one point, Bezos had his mind fully focused on shipping books. Everything that came later was the result of a common but complex startup strategy of thinking big and acting small.
I’ll use Amazon as the late-stage example for using the think-big-act-small strategy — like a cake I baked earlier to show you the gorgeous final product. And I’ll use two of my own startup experiences to show you how to bake the cake, and start thinking big and acting small right now.
From Books To Those Little Creamer Cups
Right before I sat down to write this article, I had just placed an order on Amazon Prime for coffee pods and those little creamer cups (an indulgence). Both arrived at my door less than 90 minutes later — before I finished my first draft.
I can picture Jeff Bezos, circa 1994, thinking, “Joe is writing. He needs his coffee. Not in five days or even two days. He needs it now. That’s how I’m going to make him and everyone else a customer for life. It’s worth the extra spend to make it happen.”
It most definitely cost Amazon more money to fulfill my order than I paid, and it’s not a mistake, and it’s not random loss leadership. I ordered golf gloves too (Amazon does everything!) and those won’t be here until tomorrow. But the coffee and the creamer cups got here right now.
What blows my mind is the creamer cups. That’s next level data gathering and planning.
“Coffee? Right now? We can do that. But doesn’t he take it with a little splash of cream? We better make that available right now too.”
This is a micro example of the end result of a startup strategy that made the company massively successful by thinking big and acting big.